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Week 3: Will You Serve and Bless? // Proverbs 11:25

Mary Ellen Ermis April 30, 2023 sermons, cityrise, houston, Proverbs, Roger Patterson, Rooted, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, April 30, 2023 at our West U Baptist campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.

We are into our third out of four messages on our series from the book of Proverbs. I hope you are enjoying the Proverbs Devotional challenge, reading a Proverb a Day…You know, it will keep the fool away!

Let’s review the progression of our series for a moment. It’s a series on Biblical Generosity. And the premise of the entire series is this: If we are going to live a life that bears fruit, we have to plant the right seeds.

The first is the seed of TRUST. This questioned where we place our trust. Solomon wrote to his son in Proverbs 11:28 these words.

Proverbs 11:28

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.”

It’s so easy to place our trust in riches. But the way to the flourishing life is to place our trust in God.

And why can we do that? We examined that in week one. We can do that, because he is trustworthy. He is a GENEROUS God.

Last week, we asked the question Will you give and Receive? As we are planting the seed of Giving.

And we looked at Proverbs 11:24.

Proverbs 11:24

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”

Remember what Ben showed us last week?

These are paradoxes of biblical generosity:

  • the more you give away, the more you have to give.
  • The more you try to keep, the less you end up with.

This is the scriptural principle of sowing and reaping.

But generosity is about so much more than money!

Everyone say “more than money.”

What we are after is cultivating a lifestyle of generosity.  For people of means, giving money toward a cause may actually be the easiest thing you can do.

  • Giving of yourself and your time will often cost you so much more.

Today’s text speaks of living your life as a conduit of blessing to others.

Today’s Text: Prov. 11:25.

Proverbs 11:25, ESV

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

Now, I want to take a moment to share with you a number of translations. Each is a bit different than the other, trying to capture this amazing message.

Proverbs 11:25, NIV

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

The ESV calls talks about one bringing blessing.  The NIV, calls this person “generous.”

Let’s look at the Amplified Bible.

Proverbs 11:25, AMP

“The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown].”

Two main ideas here — Here’s the first.

I. Be a Blessing Bringer

When we talk about being a blessing bringer, for the next few moments, let’s just think about one area of our lives.  When we think about being generous, let’s just hone in on being generous with our words!

I had a call with one of my daughter’s soccer coaches. She came home from a practice and she was in tears.

We inquired what happened, and basically, she said, “The coach embarrassed me and put me down in front of my entire team.”

She said, “He could tell I was mad, so he called me over after practice and we discussed it and he apologized.”

But, she was hurt by his words to her. And this wasn’t the first time.

So, I asked her, “Do you want me to call him?” And she quickly replied, “Yes.”

So, I sent him a note, and after his next practice, he called me. It was a gracious conversation. I simply said, “Coach, can you tell me what happened, because Carson came home in tears.”

He humbly reported what happened and how he had apologized. He said, “I was trying to push her, and I crossed the line.”

He’s a young coach. He’s a good man. I really like how he uses my daughter on the field.

To be really clear, I’m for him and not against him.

So, I said, “Coach, can I give you one piece of advice?”

Before he answered, because I wasn’t really asking for his permission, I said, “…because if you get this one idea now, early on in your coaching career, it will revolutionize how you coach the game.”

I said, “There are transactional coaches and transformational coaches. Think back…there was probably only one coach who was transformational…that one that you would do anything for, because you knew he loved you.”

He said, “Yeah.”

I said, “Coach, I need you to trust me here…I used to do sports radio. I’ve interviewed coaches and their players. Have you ever heard of Tony Dungy?”

He said, “Well of course.”

I said, “Well, let me tell you the story that Hunter Smith, Coach Dungy’s punter, shared with me.”

I said, “Hunter talked about being a punter for a Peyton Manning led football team. He didn’t see the field much.”

Smith said, “There is this NFL practice going on, and 75 men battling each other. And I’m over on the sidelines where they put the kickers. And I’ll never forget this moment.”

He said, “Roger, Coach Dungy comes over to me and asked me a question. He said, ‘Hunter, tell me about this band you want to start after you finish your NFL career?’”

Hunter is a singer and songwriter.

He said to me, “Roger, no coach, in all of my time in the NFL or in College, has ever asked me about my personal life or my hobbies. This man is trying to win a Super Bowl, and here he is asking me about my hobbies.”

And then he said, “I’ll never forget that.”

I then said, “Coach, let me tell you something: There is power of life and death in your tongue.”

What am I doing there?

I’m quoting him a proverb. Look at Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

What happens with your words will bring life or death.

I encouraged this coach. Instead of yelling at him, I tried to model what I was wanting him to do with my daughter.

Friend, what you do with your words is as much about generosity as anything that you do. Do your words bring life or do they bring death?

Look at Proverbs 11:25 again.

Proverbs 11:25,ESV

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

  • A blessing, in biblical terms, is a proclamation of spiritual affirmation. The OT blessing was more verbal, and less material.

Everyone say “more than money”

  • The OT blessing was a reminder that one was chosen by, loved, provided for and protected by God.
  • Hebrew word used here- (baraka)
  • In the OT, the blessing was a really big deal! This term and its related synonyms occur 600 times in the OT!
  • An OT blessing had a few primary purposes:
    • The blessing was a public declaration of a favored status with God.
    • The blessing endowed power for prosperity and success.
    • The blessing involved an invocation to God on behalf of the blessee.
    • The blessing generally was granted from the greater to the lesser.
    • Think like a father to his son, or a king to his subjects, or the priest to Gods people, or even from God to man.

One of the more famous OT blessings is Numbers 6:24-26.

Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

  • Here is another one –

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Let me challenge you today- be a blessing bringer.

  • Are you generous with your words to those closest to you? Are you speaking words of hope and life and grace and peace?

Listen, I’m going to give you something for free here. I’m going to give you a tool, especially for you who are parents.

I sent this to a friend who is in an overwhelming season. He has a lot of kids. He has triplets. He drives a long way from his house to his work. They are trying to sell their house and move closer to his work. His kids are acting up a bit.

I said, “Speak and lead your kids with Vision.”

Parents, listen to me.  When your kids make a bad choice correct them. Then speak vision.

  • Let me tell you what I see in you.
  • Let me tell you your potential.
  • Let me tell you how gifted you are.
  • Let me share with you what I see in your future.
  • You are good at this.
  • You are good at that.

Lead them with vision and they will realign with you.

Why? Because people are starved for affirmation. Especially from their parents.

You speak death into your kids and wonder why the fruit of their lives is death.

Speak life and watch the fruit be life.

Proverbs 10:21

“The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.”

Proverbs 20:15

“There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”

It doesn’t matter it’s a song that’s tracks one place right now on the top trending Do you see how this is more than money?

The lips of knowledge are a rare jewel.

Do you see why we need to put our hearts and minds into the book of Proverbs?

It’s such a gift to us.  It challenges us to speak life…to speak a blessing…to speak words of knowledge…to feed many!

So, what does this look like practically?

  • As a husband…
  • As a wife…
  • As a friend…
  • As a church member…

There are people all around you that are starving for blessing upon their life.

One of the most generous things we can give them are our words of affirmation and proclamations of God’s favor from scripture.

Look for opportunities this week to give away a blessing to someone in your life.

Proverbs 11:25,ESV

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

The second thing I want you to see is this.

This is our second principle here.

II. Be a Water Bearer.

Be a water bearer. 

  • The Hebrews term used here means to drink ones fill. So the implication here is to satisfy one’s need.

When we talk about being a water bearer, think of actions of sacrificial love.

Mark 9:41

For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

The act of giving water is symbolic of actions of christian love according to Jesus!

Water in the rest of the world isn’t like we have it here.  You see, water is work and sacrifice in the rest of the world. Let me show you what I’m talking about. This is Pastor Ben on a mission trip to Kenya in 2017.


  • Here, I want you to think about being generous with our work! Our acts of servanthood.. everyone say “more than money.”

A water bearer is someone who goes out of the way to meet a tangible need of another through sacrificial generosity.

Luke 10:30-37 is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Let’s take a moment and read it together.

Luke 10:30-37

“Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

An example in…

  1. Availability
  • Three things we learn by example here:
    • 1. An example in availability.
      • The good samaritan stopped and saw the need and made himself available….
      • We are too ready to assume someone else will do it!

An example in…

  1. Availability
  2. Compassion
  • 2. An example in compassion.
    • gk= to be moved from the inside. Same Gk word used to describe Jesus…
    • The good samaritan actually cared about people.
    • there was an emotional generosity involved.

An example in…

  1. Availability
  2. Compassion
  3. Servanthood
  • An example in servanthood.
    • At his own expense he “took care of him”
    • Transportation, medicine, lodging, food and water…
    • Taking care of others is one of the most profound and most Christ-like things one can do.
    • The good samaritan literally went the extra mile…
    • This story represents everything that Jesus has called us to be about…

Finally, Note the principle of reward (not formula, not even a promise) given in our text to the one who lives his life in a generous posture toward his neighbor.  He will himself be blessed! He will himself be watered!

Charles Spurgeon

“If I want to get water, I must give water. Though that seems a strange way of self-serving, I pray you to try it.”

The Hebrew is rich here-

  • For the blessing bringer, the promise would translate to be made fat… of course that’s a metaphor for being one who is deeply satisfied.
  • For the water bearer, the promise would translate: “…he will experience a well spring of water.”
  • In both principles, the implication is clear, you can’t out give God!
    • Not financially
    • not physically
    • not emotionally
    • not spiritually

The more you give away the more He gives back.  The more you pour out generosity, the more it comes right back!

Let me echo Spurgeon….I dare you to try it!   Start living for others! Stop taking care of number 1! And see what God does.

In our CityRise family of churches and nonprofits, we have so many opportunities for you to be a blessing bringer and a water bearer….   Find your spot today and start giving your life away to help lift this city by generously giving the Gospel…

Here at the midpoint of our Deep and Wide generosity initiative, would you recommit yourself to cultivating a lifestyle of generosity?  It’s more than finishing your financial commitment. It’s offering all of yourself, your time, your attention, your words, and your actions to the cause of Christ.

It’s a call to be generous with all that you are…your resources…but also, your words and your work!

Go deeper with us in discipleship, so that together, we may go wider in outreach to our city and around the world.